A new study released today by Co-op Insurance has revealed that smart homes are keeping burglars at bay.
The study, conducted among a panel of ex-convicts, found that 89% of ex-cons would be put off targeting a smart connected home, with a further two thirds (67%) stating they would steer clear of connected cars.
When delving into the reasons as to why this is the case, 44% said thieves are opportunists and so would avoid these trickier break-ins.
Despite this, just 5% of UK adults have invested in smart technology for their homes.
The study also reveals the top 10 factors which ex-convicts say are biggest deterrents for burglars. CCTV cameras, the sound of a barking dog and strong heavy doors are most likely to put off home burglars. Whilst, CCTV street cameras, car alarms and street lighting top the list for car thieves.
Despite this, just over a tenth (14%) of UK adults say they’ve installed CCTV cameras and whilst ex-thieves point out that motion activated security lights are a key deterrent for home thieves, just a quarter (24%) of UK adults say they’ve installed such lights.
Further highlighting the UK’s lack of home security, over a quarter (28%) of UK adults say they don’t take any security precautions. Over half (55%) sleep with their windows open at night, a quarter (24%) leave their doors unlocked whilst at home, and over a tenth (12%) have admitted to leaving their garden gates open.
What's more, a fifth (20%) said they actively post photos on social media showing that they’re on holiday.
Caroline Hunter, Head of Home Insurance at Co-op commented: “Our research shows that almost half (44%) of thieves are opportunists and so it’s really important that home and car owners are vigilant and think carefully about the security of their homes and vehicles.
Nobody should have to go through the trauma of having their property burgled and there are some small measures which homeowners should be mindful of to ensure any opportunists cannot be tempted.”
When weighing up properties to target, ex-convicts advised that the most difficult break-ins are of those properties situated in cities (82%). Three quarters (75%) of ex-convicts, said properties in isolated locations are easiest to break into.
Furthermore, the study reveals that houses off dirt tracks, bungalows and properties on housing estates are among those easiest to break into, whilst mid terraces, apartments with manned security and semi-detached houses are the most difficult to target.
Noel ‘Razor’ Smith, a former bank robber, commented: “As a former criminal, I know all the tricks homeowners use to keep their homes safe, that’s why I find it shocking that the Co-op’s research reveals 28% of us don’t take any precautions whatsoever. Luckily there are some very simple steps everyone can take to make our homes more secure and keep our valuables safe”
Lynn Farrar, Chair of Neighbourhood Watch added: “Having your car or home broken into can have a devastating financial and emotional impact on families, the effects of which can stay with an individual for some time.
Sadly, break-ins do happen and this study re-enforces the need for greater home security, so it’s really good to hear that the Co-op are raising awareness of this.”